Authentic Leadership

Leadership. Much is talked, much is written. My thought for today on the topic is about authentic leadership. For me, this is as simple as meaning what you say and ensuring that you live and are seen to live your principles. In my case, I have a strong belief in supporting people, developing them professionally and personally. This sounds good of course and makes for some great 'one liners'. The thing is, actions speak louder than words and if you're not prepared to 'do' as well as 'say', it's only fair to expect a backlash.

Here's the rub; RAF Lossiemouth is home to about 2500 people – military, civil servants and contractors, what we call the 'Whole Force Concept'. Walking the talk of this aspect of authentic leadership means I have to be ready to drop things and change my plans, it means getting out and about more than my inbox wants me to and it means I can't afford to have any closed meetings, with the attendant suspicion of cigar smoke deals.

That's why I work with my office door open, why I pay a lot for shoe leather, why we focus so much on celebrating the successes of our team and why I never, ever go anywhere without my mobile phone. But here's the rub; meaning what you say makes life very simple, it means you never have to remember what you said to whom to maintain a story and it is incredibly rewarding. But it takes time, lots of it. Because if you set your stall out in a certain way, you have to answer the calls, prove you mean the words and this means all day, every day.

Is it worth it? Oh yes!


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